Australian rider Porte fastest Paris-Nice after stage victory
APCOL D'EZE, France --- Australian rider Richie Porte won the Paris-Nice race after a dominant victory on the final time trial stage on Sunday, while promising American rider Andrew Talansky showed his potential with a second-place overall finish.
March 12, 2013, 12:19 am TWN
Porte was in the leader's yellow jersey overnight and only needed to protect his lead. But he attacked from the start and dominated his rivals on the uphill time trial, finishing a massive 23 seconds ahead of Talansky.
The 28-year-old Porte posted a time of 19 minutes, 16 seconds over the 9.6-kilometers from Nice to Col d'Eze to become the first Australian to win the race.
“I can't believe it, the first Aussie to win such a big race,” said Porte, who shook hands with Talansky as the American was warming down on a stationary bike. “It's just an honor to have my name up there with Bradley Wiggins, Tony Martin, all the big champions.”
Porte follows in the footsteps of Sky teammate Wiggins, who won the race last year before going on to win the Tour de France. But after coming relatively late into professional cycling, he ruled out any likelihood of becoming a main contender on the Tour later this year.
“I'm still doing my apprenticeship, I'm still learning from Bradley and Chris Froome, so I don't expect to go to the Tour and ride for general classification,” he said. “I'm in a good place at the moment and don't really want to change anything ... Whatever happens we're going to have a hell of a team for the Tour de France.”
Talansky was 32 seconds behind Porte overnight, but the Garmin-Sharp rider slipped further behind to finish 55 seconds adrift in the final standings.
Talansky won the Tour de l'Ain in France last year and finished seventh overall in the Spanish Vuelta in his first participation in a major race. He will ride in his first Tour de France later this year and is targeting a top-10 finish.